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Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

A humorous greeting. The phrase refers to Scottish explorer David Livingstone, who was presumed lost in Africa in the mid-19th century. When reporter H.M. Stanley finally located him, he supposedly greeted Livingstone with this now-famous phrase. You must be the gentleman I'm looking for—Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
See also: doctor

presume on (someone or something)

To take advantage of someone or something in a presumptuous, unwarranted, or unwelcome manner. I always try to give my students the benefit of the doubt, but those who would presume on my leniency will find themselves facing harsh punishments. I'm your brother, Tim, I want to help you—just don't presume on me, that's all. Thank you for your offer, but I wouldn't want to presume on your hospitality.
See also: on, presume

Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

Jocular You are who I think you are, are you not? Oh, there you are. Doctor Livingstone, I presume?
See also: doctor

presume (up)on someone or something

to take unwelcome advantage of someone or something. I didn't mean to seem to presume upon you. I apologize. I did not feel that you presumed on me.
See also: on, presume

Doctor Livingstone, I presume?

A 19th-century explorer named Dr. David Livingstone became something of a national hero through his articles and lectures about his adventures in Africa. In 1864, Livingstone led an expedition to discover the source of the Nile. When little to nothing was heard from or about Livingstone after many years, Europeans and Americans became concerned. In 1871, the publisher of the New York Herald hired Henry Stanley, a newspaper reporter, to find Livingstone. Heading a group of some two hundred men, Stanley headed into the African interior. After nearly eight months he found Livingstone in a small village on the shore of Lake Tanganyika. As Stanley described the encounter, “As I advanced slowly toward him I noticed he was pale, looked wearied . . . I would have embraced him, only, he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would receive me; so I . . . walked deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said, ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?' The phrase “‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” caught the public's fancy, and any number of would-be wits greeted friends with it until the phrase lost all traces of cleverness. But that never stopped people from continuing to use it long past the public's memory of who Livingstone or Stanley were.
See also: doctor
References in periodicals archive ?
1998; Moustarah, 1998) claimed that a presumed consent public policy would increase the number of cadaveric organs available for transplant.
Presumed Mean CRP Value (IU/mL) Diagnosis Visit 1 Visit 2 Visit 3 Viral infection 13.
i) Any portfolio company that the foreign bank or affiliated company controls or is presumed to control under paragraph (b)(1) of this section; and
A run in Ireland and Presumed would already have had the chance to test herself against two of today's opponents, Hula Angel and Golden Silca, the first two home at The Curragh.
I was sitting there in the theater about halfway through the film and still waiting to be amused, when I suddenly realized (when I knew absolutely and forever) that there was no distance between Woody Allen, actor and auteur, and his surrogate hero - that the ironic, critical distance I had presumed to be there was not there at all, that Allen was the guy in Stardust Memories and Play It Again Sam, in Annie Hall and Manhattan.
Systemic white or male privilege is presumed to be a reasonable, natural expression of merit.
Under the law, the following should be presumed dead: a person who has been declared missing for four years after being involved in a sea vessel or an airplane mishap; a person in the armed forces who has taken part in war, and has been missing for four years; and a person who has been in danger of death under other circumstances and his existence has not been known for four years.
Nevertheless, Wales pressed ahead with seeking a Legislative Competence Order (LCO), the transfer of power from the UK Parliament to Wales, to introduce the system, on the basis that the recommendation did not "reflect the weight of opinion in relation to presumed consent".
There is no evidence from the few countries that have adopted presumed consent that the rate of organ donation increases.
It is said that "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions" and surely the idea of presumed consent for organ donations is a good example of this.
Wrexham-born Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas said the presumed consent system would lead to a great number of lives being saved in Wales.
As part of the transition towards this phase, we are now reporting clinically presumed cases.
They will meet in Edinburgh today to consider if a system of presumed consent - where people carry a card if they don't want organs used - should be introduced.
The Health Ministry in India announced in early March that it plans to change the nation's donation system from the current opt in system to presumed consent in three months.